The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is famous for its castles, its remarkable art and its beer. It’s full of unspoiled nature and fabulous landscapes for you to explore. The Czech Republic is the perfect holiday destination for travellers looking for beautiful scenery, historic cities and old castles with breathtaking architecture. With around 10.7 million inhabitants, the Czech Republic is one of the ten biggest countries in Europe. The currency in the Czech Republic is the Czech koruna.
This article provides a brief summary of our favourite three Czech cities that are certain to delight all travellers.
Good to know
- Gregor Mendel and Sigmund Freud were both Austrians, but were born in what’s now the Czech Republic.
- Despite the country’s love of beer, the legal alcohol limit for drivers on the roads is 0.0 percent.
- The local etiquette requires a man to enter a restaurant before his female companion. But if they’re entering a different building, he must let her go first.
- The national passion of the Czechs is foraging for mushrooms. Every year, on St. Václav’s Day, thousands of Czechs come together to swarm into the forest and gather fungi.
- Official language: Czech
- No Czech Christmas dinner would be complete without a carp
- According to statistics, the Czech Republic is in the top ten safest countries in the world
Top 3 cities
Prague: you’re sure to know at least one person who celebrated their stag night or hen do there. But the capital offers much more than just alcohol-fuelled young men and women. It has extraordinary architecture and an unforgettable art scene. Prague also presents a colourful picture to the world and entices up to 100,000 visitors every day to the “Golden City”. This name, still in widespread use today, originates from the Middle Ages and refers to the city’s gilded roofs.
A distinctive cityscape, lively cultural scene, historic old city, a range of shopping options, numerous parks, friendly locals and, don’t forget, the affordable beer – for many it’s the perfect combination for a city break.
Prague is a timeless and stylish city, which is a major reason why it often plays host to fashion weeks and design events. In addition, the city is highly popular among musicians all over the world, so don’t be surprised if when strolling through the city or its parks you stumble on a little music festival or concert.
The city streets positively exude serenity and take you to one of the city’s most important landmarks: the Charles Bridge. It’s ornamented with numerous baroque figures, foremost among them the statue of Saint John of Nepomuk, which is cast from pure bronze. According to legend, this statue grants wishes, which is why each day hundreds of passers-by touch it with their hands, keeping its lustre alive.
The bridge connects the “Lesser Town” of Prague with its Old City, leading you directly along Charles Street into the Old City Ring, an urban square on which the Old Town Hall with its astronomical clock attracts crowds of onlookers every hour.
Another MUST on any visit to Prague is Hradčany Castle, which can be seen from far and wide. It comprises the largest self-contained castle site in the world – the front alone stretches half a kilometre. Its stunning silhouette is graced by the three spires of the mighty St Vitus Cathedral.
You can experience a different side of this history-steeped city in the Old Jewish Cemetery. At first glance a chaotic jumble of unsymmetrically erected gravestones, stacked one on top of another because of the lack of space. But behind the disordered appearance are many tragic stories. If you let this site speak to you, you’ll feel the horror of the past seep into your bones.
This wonderful city is so full of attractions and curiosities that it’s not possible for us to describe it in such a short text. But there’s one place you should definitely seek out: the River Vltava. Whether you’re travelling with your family, your partner, with your friends or alone, a cruise on the Vltava will create lasting memories. You can experience it on a ferry or, more adventurously, on a pedalo. Either way, an essential activity.
Summary: Prague is an incredible city! Full of moving stories combined with modern, vibrant urban life.
After Prague, Brno is the Czech Republic’s second-biggest city. It’s in the south-west of the country on the Austrian border. Brno is home to all the higher institutions of the Czech legal system, such as the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic and the Supreme Administrative Court.
One of the most famous and popular attractions in Brno is Špilberk Castle. Situated on the Špilberk hill, it’s a gentle stroll away from the city centre. The castle was built in the 13th century to defend the city and was converted into a massive citadel, later becoming notorious as one of the most feared prisons in the Austrian Monarchy. In the 1960s, the fortification because a World Heritage Site and thus one of the city’s main attractions.
Besides Špilberk Castle, the other great Brno landmark is the imposing Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul, which is also the city’s most important church. It was built in the 13th century on the Petrov hill and was one of the first churches in the Romanesque style. Over the years the church was altered many times, including in the baroque style. The last reconstruction was in the late 19th century by a Viennese architect. Thanks to its hilltop location, the highlight of the church is its wonderful view over the city of Brno.
The Old Town Hall is the oldest and most famous building in the old city of Brno. It’s famous thanks to the legend of the Brno Dragon, a creature that put the city into a state of fear and terror and ate the peasants’ livestock. Inside the Old Town Hall you can inspect the Brno Dragon, which in fact was a crocodile. The heart of the Town Hall is the 63-metre-high tower that offers you a perfect view of the Brno old city.
Summary: Brno is a fascinating city that spoils tourists and travellers with its cosy charm. Brno is the perfect destination for a relaxed weekend full of culture and history.
Karlovy Vary, or Karlsbad, is one of the world’s most famous and tradition-steeped spa towns, situated on the southern edge of the Ore Mountains by the Teplá river. The city’s glamour comes from its numerous spas and their twelve mineral-rich healing springs, some of which reach a temperature of over 60° Celsius.
Since 2021 Karlovy Vary and ten other important European spa towns have been declared UNESCO World Heritage. It’s not just the hot springs that are worth a visit but the beautiful promenade Stará Louka, which, after the spas, is the city’s quintessential sight. Splendid art nouveau buildings grace the street and its many little cafes and restaurants. With the wooded hill behind, it’s perfect for photos.
The Hot Spring Colonnade, in the spa centre on the Teplá river, is the most famous of the twelve healing springs. Since the 16th century a fountain of hot water has shot up into the air here, reaching heights of up to twelve metres and temperatures of 72° Celsius. The Hot Spring Colonnade is chiefly famous for its medicinal waters, which are supposed to help with digestive problems and diabetes. If you want to drink some of the waters, you should use one of the Karlovy Vary drinking cups. But watch out! The water sounds and looks more delicious than it actually is.
The “13th healing spring” in Karlovy Vary is Becherovka, a famous and much-loved green-yellow herbal liqueur from the Czech Republic. You can have a look at the Jan Becher Museum and learn everything about the production and history of alcoholic drinks. The museum is housed in an old Becherovka factory and the former Becherovka pharmacy. An interesting piece of trivia: The famous herbal liqueur was originally produced as a medicine rather than an alcoholic drink.
Summary: Karlovy Vary is a popular destination for travellers from all over the world and a place for them to look after their wellbeing and health.
The Czech Republic has something to offer everyone. Whether you’re old or young, the Czech Republic ticks boxes with it impressive architecture and modern city centres.
Are you curious and keen to experience an impressive new culture?
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